You need basic design skills if you’re going to build a great-looking website. There are particular design principles that every Developer must know.
It’s important to see how your web platform will look and function from a user’s point of view. It should be relevant for them, visually attractive, and easy (maybe even “fun”!) for them to use.
The first thing a visitor experiences on your site is its look and feel. A sites’ look and feel are both important aspects of web design. If the page doesn’t look professional, it loses credibility. If it’s not balanced, if the colors seem inappropriate or off-brand, if the fonts are hard to see or read, if page elements are missing or not where a user expects them to be (ex: a product search-field), it can contribute to a user experiencing negative feelings about your site, and may increase unwanted page-bounce rates.
Go for Easy
You can improve the quality of your web projects by collaborating with designers. You can also improve the quality of your web projects by learning some fundamental graphic design skills. It doesn’t have to be a difficult thing to do. If you make it an integral part of your development process, you’ll easily be able to incorporate both coding and design fundamentals into your web projects. Later on, you won’t find yourself poring through analytics reports, looking for the causes of high bounce rates.
Your design should be consistent across all pages of the site. Elements should be aligned and balanced, and the pages should be visually attractive as a whole, with no particular element overpowering any other element. And the most important thing is this: know the problem you’re solving with the page, and who you’re solving it for.
Here they are, 7 Design Principles
If you’ve ever used a word processor like MS WORD, then you’re already familiar with Alignment.
Alignment is a basic design principle that describes the way that the text and graphics components are arranged on the page. An example of alignment is choosing “justified” rather than “centered” text. Alignment creates the boundaries between areas on the page, making it easier for the user to see and read the content.
“Repetition” can mean several different things, but the most common meaning is the reusing of a pattern, text, or graphic element throughout the entire design. By repeating elements, you can create a sense of consistency and harmony throughout the site.
Repeating an element, such as an image, doesn’t require that it be an exact duplicate, or even that it’s aligned in a particular way. Even slightly changing the look of a reused element is a valid creative technique.
The use of hierarchy creates a sense of importance between the elements, as they relate to each other.
Creating a hierarchy is often accomplished by using a larger font size or font weight for the most important elements. You could also use a different font altogether, or you could make it a contrasting color to the other elements on the page.
Calls To Action (CTA’s) should be at the top of the hierarchy because they are more important than other page elements, and visual attention should be called to them.
Balance is a design principle that uses symmetry and asymmetry, and space, to ensure that no individual element overpowers another on the same page.
Symmetry is a type of visual balance; where all elements are the same distance from the center.
Asymmetry can also be used to create balance. Using asymmetry, heavier looking elements would be on one side of the page, with lighter looking elements on the other side, further from the center, and using more of them.
Try to counter the “weight” of a large element by grouping several smaller elements together on the opposite side. (If this arrangement consisted of real physical objects, they’d actually balance-out, in the real world.) The design feels balanced when element-distribution is consistent, and when you achieve this challenge visually, you’ve achieved balance on your page.
With practice, you’ll know if it doesn’t “feel” or look quite right, and you’ll also know when it looks and feels balanced.
Contrast creates a type of visual interest by combining “opposites”. You can use contrast with textures (smooth and rough), and colors (light and dark), you name it. Get creative with contrast!
Using Contrast is important to make the page visually interesting for the user to look at and engage with.
Color choice is an important aspect of design because when used effectively color can influence specific emotions (for example, blue has been shown to solicit calm feelings) or trigger brand recognition (for example, red and white is used for Coke products).
Keep your projects’ color palette simple; four to five colors at most.
Typography refers to the style and appearance of your written content. Like color, it can be used to influence a variety of emotions and inform users about the nature of your brand.
Use no more than two unique fonts. Using more than two has the potential to cause difficulty in reading the text, competition with the overall design or confusion about the purpose of the site itself.
Google Fonts: HUGE cache of free web fonts.
Coolers: upload an image and automatically create a color palette based on the image colors.
Have fun designing your web pages!
Other articles you might like:
About the author
I developed Image and Aspect because I believe that professionals need to have an impactful web presence. One that showcases their unique talents, skills, and abilities as well as their values and style. A presence that focuses on social engagement and connection.
I’m passionate about what I do; I like helping fellow humans, I like having all kinds of social connection with others, and I want to give back, to make the world a better place.
I do much of the designing and coding myself, and I also have a wonderful network of professionals that may contribute as well; photographers, copywriters, branding experts.
I love designing and coding beautiful, elegant and responsive web creations. I ALSO teach and help others who want to learn how to do it themselves.
‘Tips and Snips’ is my blog, and it’s full of information and inspiration to help transform any online persona from “meh” to AMAZING! Sign-up HERE to get blog posts right to your in-box every Friday! I write about Design, Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Branding, Vlogging, Color Theory, HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, WordPress, Social Media…anything you’d want to know to get yourself noticed online.
Diane M. Metcalf, M.S.